Practitioners of certain religions have faced prejudiced and stereotyped ideas about the personages because of the negative affiliations of their religion. Perhaps no religion is as stereotyped as the religion called Islam. Islam, antithetically to what the majority of ignorant people believe, is "a religion of ethics, obedience, harmony, and is based on a faithful belief system" (Hossain). It is a religion that promotes peace and the toleration of others. Due to the unfortunate actions of a handful of terrorist extremists, many people mistakenly associate the religion with terrorism. There are violent people in all walks of life and from every religion, but ignorance does not allow people to see that the vast majority of Islamic believers are not terrorists. Those who practice Islam, Muslims, are not violent people. The stereotype of Muslims is that they are violent extremists bent on destruction and death. This is absolutely not the case and has led to many acts of terror and violence being committed against innocent Muslim people.
Even before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Muslims have been the target of prejudices by the Caucasian, Christian majority. After September 11th, this became even more obvious and Muslims became the constant victims of racial profiling and stereotyping (Qumsiyeh 1). There are terrorists who have committed atrocities such as murders. Some of these claim to be Muslims and to be killing because of their religion. These people are bastardizing their religion to justify violence. Since groups, like Hamas and of course Al Qaeda, are comprised of Muslim people, it is believed by some that all Muslim people are bent upon violence and acts of terrorism against non-Muslim populations (Litvak 41). The terrorist...
Films and television programs have used Muslims and Arab terrorists as the primary antagonists in action films every since the fall of the U.S.S.R. And the end of the Cold War. In an exploration of Muslim portrayals in film and television, researchers determined "that the prevailing portrait of Muslims reduce[s] them all to a special malevolent and unthinking essence" (Sides 6). Once the attacks of September 11th happened, the amount of Arab and Muslims on television and film that were portrayed in negative ways increased as well.
Now, most of the depictions of Muslim people that are present in the homes of the average American person are negative. This negativity, in turn, enforces and underlines the stereotypes and preconceived notions of the American populous that Muslim people are bad (Tutt 1). Without positive depictions of Muslims to counter the stereotypical portrayals, the American person is primarily educated on these people through the lens of racially insensitive and discriminatory portrayals. Daniel Tutt of The Huffington Post wrote in 2011: "Not surprisingly, a majority of Americans receive information about Muslims and Islam primarily from the media" (1). Even in the non-fictional television programs, such as the news, stories about Muslim people are usually only featured when one of them has committed a crime or some other form of antisocial behavior has been documented. Negative depictions only support negative opinions and propagate the cycle of unending misunderstanding, violence, and religious intolerance.
There are other ways in which Muslims have been stereotyped besides the false idea that Muslims are violent. Those who are outside of the religion have ideas about the practitioners based upon what they see on television or in movies. For example, it is assumed that Muslims supposedly hold women in minimalist positions and disregard them as free beings. In their essay, "An Identity Reduced to a Burka," Laila Al-Marayati and Semeen Issa begin by telling a story about how someone from…
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